Main definitions of mandarin in English

: mandarin1mandarin2

mandarin1

noun

  • 1The standard literary and official form of Chinese based on the Beijing dialect, spoken by over 730 million people.

    [as modifier] ‘Mandarin Chinese’
    • ‘Hindi, with 366 million speakers, is second only to Mandarin Chinese.’
    • ‘After the fall of the Manchu dynasty in 1911, in place of Classical Chinese, the new Republican government made the most widely spoken dialect, Mandarin Chinese, the official written language.’
    • ‘In fact the most widely-spoken language in the world is Mandarin Chinese, which is spoken by twice as many people as English.’
    • ‘Across the office, a couple of guys were discussing English, Indonesian and Mandarin Chinese in the morning.’
    • ‘Some West Coast and Hawaiian galleries take additional steps to ensure success with this market by hiring multilingual consultants who speak Japanese, Cantonese or Mandarin Chinese.’
    • ‘More than a billion people speak Mandarin Chinese, while half as many speak English.’
    • ‘Although Mandarin Chinese has the largest number of native speakers, English is number one in the world as a second, third or fourth foreign language.’
    • ‘Most of the population speaks Mandarin Chinese, the national language.’
    • ‘New studies suggest English will increasingly be used as the language of science, while Mandarin Chinese will be the next must-learn language.’
    • ‘It also says that Mandarin Chinese is the language with the most native speakers in the world.’
    • ‘He grew up trilingual, in English, Mandarin Chinese and Malay.’
    • ‘Northern China uses Mandarin Chinese, which is the official language of the government.’
    • ‘In 1989, she went on to study Mandarin Chinese language and Chinese philosophy in Beijing where she stayed and worked for 7 years in news agencies and Embassies.’
    • ‘They have been published in 12 different languages, most recently Mandarin Chinese.’
    • ‘Despite the fact that these books were written in Mandarin Chinese, patrons still took the books home as souvenirs.’
    • ‘At present, the device is expected to support English, Mandarin Chinese, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.’
    • ‘I learned at least some English, some Korean, and some Mandarin Chinese when I was quite a bit younger than I am now, in fact.’
    • ‘Influenced by Han culture, most Yao people can speak and write Mandarin Chinese.’
    • ‘Every exchange had to be translated into Mandarin Chinese for each defendant by an interpreter in the dock.’
    • ‘This question is significant because Ruan built her career in the era of silent films, and she herself does not even speak very standard Mandarin Chinese.’
  • 2An official in any of the nine top grades of the former imperial Chinese civil service.

    • ‘And the spoken Chinese uttered by the Qing emperors' officials and the court mandarins in Beijing was none other than the Beijing dialect.’
    • ‘But civil service mandarins already have their defences prepared if they are called before the inquiry to be headed by Lord Fraser.’
    • ‘Yellow robes worn by mandarins inspired the 19th-century English name for the loose-skinned mandarin oranges.’
    • ‘A French philosopher had more in common with a Chinese mandarin than with his barbaric Frankish ancestors in the Dark Ages.’
    • ‘It was the South, on the Yangtze where Chinese culture was held to thrive - where the mandarins and the literati ruled, not the court Eunuchs.’
    • ‘Yin Zang Yan, a stereotypical Fu Manchu style Chinese man, dressed as a mandarin, glances around magisterially.’
    • ‘Sent to China to convert the heathens, Ricci began by dressing like a Chinese mandarin and learning the Chinese language until he was proficient in it.’
    magnate, tycoon, vip, notable, notability, personage, baron, captain, king, lord, grandee, mandarin, nabob
    View synonyms
    1. 2.1[as modifier] (especially of clothing) characteristic or supposedly characteristic of mandarin officials.
      ‘a red-buttoned mandarin cap’
      • ‘O'Neill, dapper in his mandarin suit and collarless white shirt, does not look like the rushing blur of today's press men.’
      • ‘The refined and leisured lifestyle from the 1920s and 1930s can be relived when viewers appreciate the varied designs of their mandarin gowns and the way they made themselves up.’
      • ‘The mandarin shirt looks good on a select few, but it is not the classic choice if you're looking for long-term use.’
      • ‘But we had come to partake, and we were ushered into the Chrysanthemum Palace to be met by smiling waiters in red mandarin coats.’
    2. 2.2 An ornament consisting of a nodding figure in traditional Chinese dress, typically made of porcelain.
      • ‘She purchased, at an exorbitant price, a Mandarin and a Jos, that were the envy of all the female connoisseurs.’
    3. 2.3 Porcelain decorated with Chinese figures dressed as mandarins.
      • ‘To this period belongs the class of Chinese porcelain known as "Mandarin".’
      • ‘The marks by which the Mandarin porcelain may be known are not decidedly agreed on.’
      • ‘I hunkered in the basement, next to a row of what appeared to be giant mandarin chamber pots.’
    4. 2.4 A powerful official or senior bureaucrat, especially one perceived as reactionary and secretive.
      ‘a civil service mandarin’
      • ‘Few today, except perhaps the mandarins in the Treasury, would subscribe to the view that national wealth should be defined exclusively in terms of gold reserves.’
      • ‘The treasury mandarins and their minions are working overtime.’
      • ‘‘We have several officers whose jobs are entirely devoted to crunching numbers for mandarins in Whitehall,’ he growls.’
      • ‘One minister did so, and claims to have been told by a senior mandarin that it was ‘disconcerting’ for officials to find their minister talking independently to outside sources of advice.’
      • ‘The Treasury mandarins have always been against tax spending on the health service.’
      • ‘Clarke, whose father was a Whitehall mandarin, is known to believe that ministers, not civil servants, should be the mouthpiece for government policy.’
      • ‘Given its concern at what is taking place in Ireland, why did the commission mandarins have little or nothing of comfort to say when the adverse effects of the euro's decline was felt here?’
      • ‘But it takes more than geographic proximity to get senior mandarins communicating in a meaningful and productive way.’
      • ‘How can Ministers, mandarins, and minions be kept away from cricket matches meant for the paying public?’
      • ‘Inexperience in dealing with the wilier mandarins of the civil service has also seen more than a few promising careers come unstuck.’
      • ‘To many British people, the idea of a mandarin or senior civil servant will forever be associated with Sir Humphrey Appleby.’
      • ‘Traditionally, senior positions in the civil service have been reserved for long-serving mandarins.’
      • ‘The mandarin is more likely to exercise bureaucratic discretion wisely, with an eye to morality and larger political consequences, than a technocrat afflicted with tunnel vision.’
      • ‘Who can confidently doubt, however, that Home Office mandarins would eventually like to roll out the scheme and make carrying a card compulsory?’
      • ‘On front after front, bureaucratic mandarins are deciding how everyday Europeans will live.’
      • ‘Politicians, insisted Yes Minister's legendary mandarin, Sir Humphrey Appleby, simply cannot be trusted.’
      • ‘Once little more than appointed mandarins, party whips in Congress are now elected by caucus members and imbued with the power to make or break issues that define a party at the national level.’
      • ‘‘The third party was a mandarin at the Foreign Office,’ Mr Lee recalled, sitting in a high-backed armchair in his flat off Bootham.’
      • ‘Does it not occur to these office-bound mandarins that many white and middle class people balk at being faced with fells, lakes and dry stone walls?’
      • ‘They rely on the servants of the state to provide not merely information but also judgment; ministers rely on mandarins to such an extent that it is impossible to resist their judgements.’
      official, administrator, office-holder, office-bearer, civil servant, public servant, government servant, minister, functionary, appointee, apparatchik, mandarin
      View synonyms

Origin

Late 16th century (denoting a Chinese official): from Portuguese mandarim, via Malay from Hindi mantrī counselor.

Pronunciation:

mandarin

/ˈmandərən/

Main definitions of mandarin in English

: mandarin1mandarin2

mandarin2

(also mandarine, mandarin orange)

noun

  • 1A small flattish citrus fruit with a loose skin, especially a variety with yellow-orange skin.

    Compare with tangerine
    • ‘‘In the winter, we are very heavy on the citrus, such as mandarin orange,’ reports Em Robinson, restaurant manager.’
    • ‘The mandarin orange is considered a native of south-eastern Asia and the Philippines.’
    • ‘Mike and Diane Madison sell their olive oil and dried lavender at the farmers' market, as well as apricots and Clementine mandarins.’
    • ‘Bananas, oranges and mandarines are normally eaten one or two at a time.’
    • ‘I like: mandarines, Fuji apples, mustard, Brie, halloumi with lemon, honey, cumin, dark bitter chocolate, peppermint tea.’
    • ‘Tangerines are actually a type of mandarin orange as are clementines, but here in the US, the names are used interchangeably.’
    • ‘Blend the mandarines in an electric blender until smooth.’
    • ‘Delivered canned mandarin oranges shall conform in every respect to the provisions of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act and regulations promulgated thereunder.’
    • ‘Wholesaler David Whiteman says most of them have plenty of mandarins, navel oranges and lemons in cold storage.’
    • ‘The idea was that no one can really tell the difference between a clementine, a satsuma and a mandarin.’
    • ‘This category included lemons, oranges, mandarins, tangelos, and grapefruits, with lemons being the most common type.’
    • ‘The mandarin orange was fine, but the peach and the pear, due to the firmness of the fruit, would get hung up on the equipment and weren't evenly distributed into the product.’
    • ‘In addition to my astounding mental powers, my most notable physical accomplishment is that I can put an entire mandarin orange in my mouth all in one go.’
    • ‘One study found eating mandarins cut the risk of liver disease, hardened arteries and insulin resistance.’
    • ‘Chinese mandarins are larger and contain fewer seeds than most of the Mediterranean varieties.’
    • ‘Apparently, this is because they haven't found a way to make seedless mandarins, so people won't eat them.’
    • ‘In Chinese cuisine, the peel of selected, fragrant mandarins is dried and used as a flavouring.’
    • ‘Peel and filet the orange or sieve the mandarines, catching the juice in a bowl.’
    • ‘Different varieties include the sweet orange, the sour orange, and the mandarin orange, or tangerine.’
    • ‘I asked my daughter-in-law if there was anything special we needed to stock up on and she revealed she's been craving mandarin oranges for the last three weeks.’
  • 2The citrus tree that yields the mandarin.

    • ‘At last the fruits are ripe on the mandarin tree and you squeeze your first delicious juice from them for breakfast.’
    • ‘Hugh had a problem with all the leaves falling off his mandarin tree.’
    • ‘The leaves of the ‘Imperial’ are quite slender and distinguish it from most other mandarins.’

Origin

Late 18th century: from French mandarine; perhaps related to mandarin, the color of the fruit being likened to the official's yellow robes.

Pronunciation:

mandarin

/ˈmandərən/